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Thread: 1001 Muscle Building Tips

  1. #69
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    192. CHIN-UPS
    Chin-ups are one of the best exercises for adding width to the back. They'll give you that much sought-after V-shaped look. You will need access to your gym's overhead bar to perform this exercise. With a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip, pull yourself up until your eyes are in line with the bar. Slowly lower your body back down until your arms are just short of lockout.

    193. HANGING AROUND FOR WIDTH
    If you are still in your teens you have another method for increasing your back and shoulder width. Simply hanging from a shin-up a bar can spread the scapulae (shoulder blades). After you complete your regular chin-up sets, hang from the bar for as long as possible and let your shoulder blades stretch out as far as possible.

    194. ASSISTED CHINS
    Chins are great but unfortunately not everyone can do them. From day one you'll have to lift your entire bodyweight. If you can't lift your bodyweight, try an assisted chin-up machine. This apparatus is usually part of the same machine that allows assisted dips. You kneel or stand on a platform that provides upward pressure as you lift yourself up. Just as with the assisted dips, you use less and less weight (assistance) as you get stronger.

    195. LAT PULLDOWNS
    Can't do chin-ups and don't have access to an assisted chin-up machine? Lat pulldowns are a close second. Instead of having to pull your entire bodyweight up to a stationary bar, you pull the bar down toward you. We strongly urge you to pull the bar toward your collarbone or chin. Some people pull the bar down behind the head to their neck. Pulling behind the head puts extra pressure on the rotator cuff (the collection of small muscles and tendons that attach to the shoulder blade). Everytime you move the bar up and down there is repeated chafing of the rotator cuff. With time it could become inflamed or worse, torn. There is virtually no difference in terms of effectiveness. Pull the bar to the front.

    196. THINK OF THEM AS HOOKS
    When performing lat pulldowns, try to think of the hands as merely hooks. The more you squeze and grip with your hands the more biceps and forearm involvement you brng in. Since these smaller muscles fatigue before your larger back muscles, your back will not get enough work.
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  2. #70
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - Beginning Exercises

    197. BENT-OVER BARBELL ROWS
    Another basic back exercise, barbell rows add strength and mass to the central back region. Bend forward and grab a barbell with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. The torso should be held at approximately 30 degrees to the floor. Pull the bar toward the lower rib cage. Lower the bar to just short of arm lockout.

    198. KEEP THE NATURAL ARCH
    Even though you'll routinely hear instructors say, "keep your back straight," the human spine is in fact not straight, but slightly curved. Try to keep the natural arch in the lower back when you perform barbell rows. If you let the back round (i.e. if you reduce the natural curve), the lower back muscles relax, placing most of yhe stress on the ligaments.

    199. BENCH BARBELL ROWS
    If you find standard rows stressful on the lower back, try performing the exercise on a flat bench. Simply lie face down on a high bench and have the bar placed directly underneath. If you have long arms you may need to bridge the bench up on blocks of wood or milk crates to get a good stretch.

    200. REVERSE-GRIP BARBELL ROWS
    To target the lower and central lats more, try reverse-grip barbell rows. The main differences from a regular row are that you use a narrower grip (about shoulder width) and you hold that bar with a revere grip (palms facing forward instead of backward). Because reverse-grip barbell rows bring more of the biceps into play, you'll find that you can use more weight. Former Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, would use over 400 pounds on this exercise!

    201. T-BAR ROWS
    A close variation of the barbell tow, the T-bar row is another great back-thickening exercise. Most gyms have a special T-shaped apparatus for this exercise, but a regular barbell (and the V-shaped attachment used on the seated row exercise) will suffice as long as you find a way to keep on end anchored to the floor (either have a training partner hold it down with his foot or stick the bar in a corner and place a few heavy dumbells or plates on top). Grab the handles or V-shaped apparatus and pull the bar towards the torso. As with barbell rows, try to keep the torso at about a 30-degree angle to the floor and the lower back slighltly arched. Return the bar to just short of a locked out position.
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  3. #71
    Iron Addict speedy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 bodybuilding tips - spine

    Ukrainain Guy,
    If there is one thing that I must continually concentrate on is maintaining a natural spine (in fact it sometimes feels unnatural). Been trying hard on deadlift, bentover dumbbell raises, bentover barbell lift (where 1 end of 45lb bar is slotted in a corner) .........the list goes on and on
    Got any tips regarding maintaining this form?

  4. #72
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    i had that problem for along time, but bascially i would lower the weight and increase the reps and sets... check that ego at the door and keep plugging at it until the form is BURNED in your brain

    ... mind u this is my opinion,others are welcome to add
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  5. #73
    Iron Addict speedy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 bbuilding tips

    Ukrainian Guy,

    Did deadlifts today and cranked it out using more reps & lower weight for the 1st & 2nd set. Definitely helped me nail the natural back form -

    thanks

  6. #74
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Kool glad it worked well

    - i also submitted your question in this thread as well.. check out the answer

    Q & A With Dave Pulcinella
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  7. #75
    Iron Addict speedy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 bbuilding tips

    Ukrainian Guy,


    The xtra reps - lower weight worked - even helped with last set - 1 rep max.

    I'll leave it that ..........

  8. #76
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    Arrow 1001 Muscle Building Tips - Beginning Exercises

    202. T-BAR MACHINE ROWS
    Even with perfect technique many people find T-bar rows stressful on the lower back. Equipment manufacturers have responded to this by offering a version of the T-bar that has an angled pad to rest the torso on. If you find regular T-bar rows stressful on the lower back and your gym has such a T-bar, try incorporating it into your workouts.

    203. SEATED ROWS
    Seated rows are like barbell and T-bar rows in that they are great for hitting the muscles in the center of the back. You will need a cable machine to perform this exercise. Grab the V-shaped pulley attachment and sit down on the floor or on the machine's seating pad. With your legs slightly bent, pull the handle into the lower ribcage. Slowly stretch forward until your arms are fully stretched. As you pull the handle towards the torso, try to squeeze the shoulder blades together. That will fully stretch the chest muscles and contract the back muscles. Don't let the torso go past 90 degrees as you pull the handles in.

    204. ONE-ARM DUMBELL ROW
    If your gym doesn't have a T-bar or seated row and you find barbell rows stressful on the lower back, one-arm dumbell rows are a good substitute. Place one knee and hand on a flat bench. Lean you weight onto your arm and keep your back arched. With the free hand, grab a dumbell and pull it upwards in a sawing motion. At the top of the exercise your upper arm should be parallel with the floor. One-arm rows place less stress on the lower back because you are braced on the bench. Be sure to reach right down to the floor each rep - stretch those lats.

    205. USE THE MIRROR
    If you find your coordination lacking while doing dumbell rows, try placing the bench parallel to the mirror. This allows you to adjust your torso and arm position as you excute the exercise. At the conclusion of a set, allow the arm to stretch down, stressing the lats. Hold this straight-arm position for 9 seconds and feel the burn.

    206. ROTATIONS
    One of the few disadvantages of repeated pressing movements is stress on the small rotator muscles located at the shoulder on the scapula. Most people start doing rotations only after they've incurred a rotator cuff problem. Try to strengthen the rotators from day one, and be sure to warm them up before doing any chest or shoulder pressing movements. Grab a light dumbell or weight plate. Hold your upper arm tight to the body and, with your elbows at a 90-degree angle, slowly rotate your lower arms in toward each other and out from the body.
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  9. #77
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips

    Ukrainian Guy,

    Re: Rotations:

    Any more recommendations for rotator cuffs? - definitely could use some more when stretching for shoulders & chest. One bad painful rotator cuff injury last summer - tryin' to strengthen-

  10. #78
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy2 View Post
    Ukrainian Guy,

    Re: Rotations:

    Any more recommendations for rotator cuffs? - definitely could use some more when stretching for shoulders & chest. One bad painful rotator cuff injury last summer - tryin' to strengthen-


    Rotator Cuff Exercises


    Before you start


    The exercises described below can help you strengthen the muscles in your shoulder (especially the muscles of the rotator cuff--the part that helps circular motion). These exercises should not cause you pain. If you feel any pain, stop exercising. Start again with a lighter weight.

    Look at the pictures with each exercise so you can use the correct position. Warm up before adding weights. To warm up, stretch your arms and shoulders, and do pendulum exercises. To do pendulum exercises, bend from the waist, letting your arms hang down. Keep your arm and shoulder muscles relaxed, and move your arms slowly back and forth. Perform the exercises slowly: Lift your arm to a slow count of 3 and lower your arm to a slow count of 6.

    Keep repeating each of the following exercises until your arm is tired. Use a light enough weight that you don't get tired until you've done the exercise about 20 to 30 times. Increase the weight a little each week (but never so much that the weight causes pain). Start with 2 ounces the first week. Move up to 4 ounces the second week, 8 ounces the next week and so on.

    Each time you finish doing all 4 exercises, put an ice pack on your shoulder for 20 minutes. It's best to use a plastic bag with ice cubes in it or a bag of frozen peas, not gel packs. If you do all 4 exercises 3 to 5 times a week, your rotator cuff muscles will become stronger, and you'll get back normal strength in your shoulder.












    Exercise 1


    Start by lying on your stomach on a table or a bed. Put your left arm out at shoulder level with your elbow bent to 90 and your hand down. Keep your elbow bent, and slowly raise your left hand. Stop when your hand is level with your shoulder. Lower your hand slowly. Repeat the exercise until your arm is tired. Then do the exercise with your right arm.





    Exercise 1










    Exercise 2


    Lie on your right side with a rolled-up towel under your right armpit. Stretch your right arm above your head. Keep your left arm at your side with your elbow bent to 90 and the forearm resting against your chest, palm down. Roll your left shoulder out, raising the left forearm until it's level with your shoulder. (Hint: This is like the backhand swing in tennis.) Lower the arm slowly. Repeat the exercise until your arm is tired. Then do the exercise with your right arm.





    Exercise 2











    Exercise 3


    Lie on your right side. Keep your left arm along the upper side of your body. Bend your right elbow to 90. Keep the right forearm resting on the table. Now roll your right shoulder in, raising your right forearm up to your chest. (Hint: This is like the forehand swing in tennis.) Lower the forearm slowly. Repeat the exercise until your arm is tired. Then do the exercise with your left arm.





    Exercise 3









    Exercise 4


    In a standing position, start with your right arm halfway between the front and side of your body, thumb down. (You may need to raise your left arm for balance.) Raise your right arm until almost level (about a 45 angle). (Hint: This is like emptying a can.) Don't lift beyond the point of pain. Slowly lower your arm. Repeat the exercise until your arm is tired. Then do the exercise with your left arm.





    Exercise 4
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  11. #79
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    207. FRONT BARBELL PRESS
    This exercise is one of the best for adding size to the shoulder muscles, particularly the front and side shoulders (anterior and medial deltoids). Sit down in the shoulder press rack (preferably one with a vertical back support). Reach back and grab the barbell with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. Lift the bar up and out so that it's positioned above your head. Slowly lower the bar to your upper chest or collarbone and then press back up to arms' length. Don't bounce the bar off your collarbone at the bottom of the exercise.

    208. TO THE FRONT ONLY
    Although some bodybuilders prefer to lower the bar behind the head when doing barbell presses, we advise against dong this. As with behind-the-head pulldowns, there is considerable stress placed on the small rotator muscles when doing this.

    209. DUMBELL PRESSES
    As with flat barbell and dumbell presses for chest, you can substitute dumbells for a barbell when working shoulders. Sit down in a chair with some sort of back support and raise a pair of dumbells to shoulder height so that the palms are facing forward. Press the dumbells upwards and inwards so that they touch above the forehead. For variety you can alternate pressing the dumbells. As with front barbell presses, dumbell presses primarily target the front and side shoulders.

    210. A SLIGHT TILT
    To reduce the pressure on the rotator cuff when doing barbell presses, set the angle of the adjustable bench at about 80 degrees. If you don't have access to an adjustable bench, keep your butt slightly forward on the vertical bench and lean slightly backwards.

    211. LATERAL RAISES (ALSO CALLED SIDE RAISES)
    Side raises are probably the best exercise for widening the shoulders because they add size to the medial (side) shoulder. With both the elbows and knees slightly bent, raise a set of dumbells outwards and upwards, until the arms are parallel with the floor. Slowly lower the dumbells down so that they meet in front of the body. The palms should be facing together at the bottom of the exercise. Resist the urge to swing the body as you lift the dumbells. This adds stress to the lower back and lessens the effectiveness of the excercise.
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  12. #80
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    Default building tips- rotator

    Ukrainian Guy,

    Thanks!! All the exercises look great and like the ones where I can crash on the padded table (do 1 rotator cuff move I know at end of tough workout) -

  13. #81
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    Good Stuff Speedy

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    212. TRICEPS PUSHDOWN
    Pushdowns are one of the best exercises for targeting the triceps muscles. You will need to use your gym's cable pushdown for this exercise. Grab the attachment with the palms facing downwards, hands about shoulder width apart. With the elbows held firmly against the torso, push downwards until the arms are locked out. Slowly raise the attachment back up to about chest level. For variety you can use different attachments. They probably won't make much difference to your triceps but they may make a big difference to your wrists.


    213. FRENCH PRESSES
    One of the best exercises for adding mass to the triceps, French presses have been performed successfully by bodybuilders for years. Although you can use just about my type of bar, most bodybuilders find the EZ-bar less stressful on the wrists and elbows . The key to this exercise is to keep the upper arms locked in position and elbows pointing at the ceiling. The only thing that should be moving is your forearms.

    214. LYING EZ-BAR EXTENSION
    This is another great one for adding mass to the triceps muscles. With an EZ-curl bar placed on the edge of a bench, lie back and grab the bar with a narrow (10 to 12 inches) grip. Raise the bar above your forehead, and with the upper arm locked vertical with the floor, lower the bar to the forehead by bending at the elbows. There should be little or no upper-arm movement. The popular nickname for this exercise is skullcrushers, but we strongly urge you to avoid actually crushing your skull.

    215. INCLINE OR DECLINE EZ-BAR EXTENSIONS
    For variety try doing your EZ-bar extensions on a decline or incline bench. You'll find that decline extensions target more of the upper triceps, while inclines bring in more of the lower triceps.

    216. DUMBELL EXTENSIONS
    While sitting on a flat bench (or better still, one that has some sort of vertical back support), grab a dumbell and lower it behind the head, trying to keep the elbow pointed at the ceiling. You may need to reach across the front of the body with the free hand for balance and supprt. Some bodybuilders prefer to do this exercise with both hands at once. In this case grab the dumbell as if you were about to volley a volleyball (i.e. the fingers pointing backwards and the palms facing the ceiling). The advantages of using two hands at once are that it saves time and it keeps you balanced (as oppsed to one-arm extensions, for which you hold a weight on one side).

    217. BENCH DIPS
    While dips are usually performed as a chest exercise, with modification they can be an excellent triceps exercise. Instead of performing the movement on dipping bars, arrange two benches so that they are about four feet apart and parallel to one another. Position yourself between the benches so that your heels are barely resting on one bench and your hands are resting on the other (fingers facing forward). With the knees slightly bent, slowly lower your body between the benches until your butt is about a foot off the floor (your upper arms will be approximately parallel with the floor at this point). Return to the starting position by straightening the arms. Resist the urge to bounce at the bottom of the exercise, as this places tremedous stress on the elbow, wrist, and shoulder joints. Need more weight? You can rest a plate or two on your lap, or hold a dumbells between you legs.
    Last edited by UkrainianGuy; November 22nd, 2008 at 01:15 PM.
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  15. #83
    Iron Addict speedy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 muscle building tips

    Ukrainian Guy,
    With new posted tips - the French Press - I do similar motion/form, lying on a bench, with dumbbells (usually part of a tricep superset). Is it more beneficial to use the EZ-curl bar? - definitely tough with the dumbbells and keeping elbows pointed up (but I do maintain form).

    Thanks,
    Speedy2

  16. #84
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    From my experience it is easier to do it with an EZ-bar

    Some believe with a straight bar its HARDCORE and better /different muscle definition.

    I say go with that doesnt hurt your wrists.

    Try both Speedy and you decide

    Good Luck
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  17. #85
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    218. DIP, NOT ROCK!
    When performing bench dips, make sure the benches you are resting your feet and hands on are stable. Either use benches with a wide base, or place some weight plates or dumbells on the base ends. Even though it rarely happens, there is the risk of one of the benches tipping over in the middle of your set. You can probably guess the damage this will cause if you are dipping with two or three plates resting on your lap.

    219. NARROW PRESSES
    Narrow presses are another staple exercise for packing mass and strength onto the triceps. The exercise is performed much like standard barbell presses for the chest, with the exception that the grip is much narrower - only about 10 to 12 inches apart. As you press the bar upwards, concentrate on pushing with the triceps and not the chest and shoulders.

    220. STRAIGHT OR EZ-BAR?
    For variety, try experimenting with straigth and EZ-curl bars when doing narrow presses. Many bodybuilders find straight bars stressful on the wrists. On the other hand others hand discovered that straight bars seem to target triceps more effectively. See which one is least stressful and most effective for you.

    221. STANDING BARBELL CURL
    Considered one of, if not the best biceps exercises, barbell curls are also one of the easiest to perform. Grab a short straight bar with a shoulder-width or slightly wider grip. Slowly curl the bar up until the forearms are at about a 45-degree angle with the horizontal (about 8-10 inches from the shoulders). Lower the bar back down to within a couple of inches of your thighs. Don't swing the body in an attempt to lift a few extra pounds. The only thing moving should be your forearms. Experiment with the EZ-curl bar as well. You probably won't find much difference to your biceps but there may be a big difference in your wrists.

    222. DO THE TWIST
    The biceps perform three function. In addition to the familar raising of the forearm and as a secondary muscle in raising the arm from the shoulder, biceps also rotate the forearms. You can make alternate dumbells curls more effective by twisting the dumbells from an inward to outward position as you raise them. Twisting the dumbells as you lift and lower (called supination) stimulates the biceps over their full range of motion.
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